USUG, Mongolia

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A smiling female engineer inspects water valves
USUG partners with USAID to increase gender equality across the company and encourage more women to enter Mongolia’s water sector.
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Engendering Industries Partner Profile

USUG is partnering with USAID to increase gender equality across the company and encourage more women to enter Mongolia’s water sector. 

When women serve as leaders and employees, businesses benefit and company performance improves. USAID’s Engendering Industries program works to increase women’s participation in male dominated sectors globally. In 2021, Engendering Industries partnered with USUG—a public sanitation and water utility in Mongolia—to design workplace initiatives that will expand job opportunities for women and enhance the utility’s performance.  

USUG is government-owned and provides water and sanitation services to 90 percent of the population of Ulaanbaatar, and much of the surrounding urban areas. USUG supplies water to 3,600 connections that include mostly kiosks and apartments. Approximately 40 percent of the city receives water through piped water connections, while the remaining population obtains water from piped- or truck-supplied kiosks where residents buy and fill containers. USUG has approximately 1,480 employees.

Recognizing that diverse teams build better businesses, USUG is partnering with USAID to increase gender equality across the company and encourage more women to enter Mongolia’s water sector.

Gender Equality in Action at USUG

Engendering Industries uses a globally-recognized evidence-based methodology to support women’s participation in Mongolia's water sector. The program supports USUG to increase opportunities for women by introducing gender equality initiatives at each phase of the employee lifecycle—from reducing gender bias at the hiring stage, to creating strategies that will help retain female talent. Engendering Industries is supporting USUG towards their goal of advancing gender equality within the organization.

A dedicated change management coach supports the utility and works directly with three staff to become agents of change within USUG. A baseline assessment is conducted to identify gaps and opportunities for improving gender equality across the company. The findings are used to develop a strategic action plan that will facilitate USUG’s gender equality goals. This is supplemented by the program’s partnership with the Georgetown University McDonough School of Business, which delivers the Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program (GEELP) to three utility employees. The GEELP is a best-in-class 12-month executive course that empowers decisionmakers to integrate gender equality initiatives into their corporate structure.

Engendering Industries will also work to support and accelerate existing gender equality initiatives underway at USUG, including:

  • Strengthening training in survivor-centered approaches to responding to GBV. The mostly female USUG employees who work at community kiosks will be trained on how to effectively respond and provide support to customers who are suffering from GBV.
  • Showcasing female engineers, who make up 50 percent of the engineers at USUG. These women can be role models for the women in other departments.
  • Training the Ethics Committee on sexual harassment to ensure that the committee handles these types of cases with a survivor-centered approach.

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GridCo Technicians
Ryan Kilpatrick / USAID

Launched in 2015, USAID’s Engendering Industries program supports organizations in developing countries to increase economic opportunities for women and improve gender equality in the workplace. Expanding women’s participation in male-dominated sectors leads to tangible economic empowerment outcomes for women, such as formal employment opportunities and higher income. Increased gender equality also improves an organization’s business performance, helping companies meet their bottom-line by enhancing employee satisfaction, reducing turnover, and driving productivity. Well-functioning organizations are also vital in supporting stronger and more resilient economies. Through a customized best practices framework, demand-driven coaching, and a Gender Equity Executive Leadership Program, Engendering Industries builds the capacity of leaders to implement gender equality interventions that increase the professional participation of women and improve business performance.

Last updated: February 23, 2022

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